Measles outbreaks are currently occurring in many destinations around the world, including first world countries. The United States is reporting the highest number of cases since 2000. An acute viral illness, measles is highly contagious and can survive in the air for up to 2 hours. Symptoms typically include fever, cough and conjunctivitis followed by a rash. Often a severe disease, complications are more common and severe in the chronically ill, children under 5 and in adults. Anyone travelling overseas is urged to ensure they are fully vaccinated regardless of destination.
On Tuesday 26th March 2019 the WA Health Department launched a program providing free measles vaccines for adults born after 1965, in an effort to reduce the cases of measles in WA, many of which are recognised as being related to travel.